Afimilk Ltd., a global provider of dairy farm management solutions, announced that it has acquired Silent Herdsman, a private venture capital-funded company from Glasgow, U.K., and developer of a neck collar monitoring system used to detect estrus and health problems in dairy cows.
"Silent Herdsman complements Afimilk's popular AfiAct II product line with unique functionality and powerful features based on new technology," said Afimilk chief executive officer Yuval Rachmilevitz, whose company makes the leg-mounted cow monitoring system AfiAct II.
Estrus detection is serious business in the dairy industry because cows must be bred regularly in order to keep producing milk. Detecting health problems early is also important as prompt treatment can significantly reduce costs associated with lost production, involuntary culling or cow death.
Silent Herdsman is a patented, neck-mounted cow monitoring system — developed with support from the government of Scotland — that detects estrus and health problems based on cow activity, rumination and eating patterns. Data are transmitted wirelessly from the collar via a base station to a central computer on the farm that issues alerts for changes indicating estrus or illness. Alerts are also sent via the cloud to smartphones and tablets. Producers are able to spend less time directly observing the herd and more time breeding and treating cows automatically identified by the system. Silent Herdsman is currently installed in hundreds of dairy farms throughout Europe.
AfiAct II is a leg-mounted cow monitoring system that detects estrus and various disorders based on activity and resting behavior. Like Silent Herdsman, it issues alerts in real time to a local computer as well as smartphones and tablets. According to Rachmilevitz, most AfiAct II customers in the U.S. report pregnancy rates exceeding 25%.
Rachmilevitz said both systems are very accurate and highly scalable, with long-range radio and long battery life.
For nearly 40 years, Afimilk has provided dairy producers with advanced technological solutions for managing their operations, profitably producing high-quality milk and improving animal welfare. Today, Afimilk is a global leader in farm management software and milk analysis tools for dairy operations in 50 countries.